Empowering differently-abled with a Universal ID
The Centre has decided to come out with a universal ID for persons with disability which will be valid throughout the country, a move which will allow the differently-abled to easily avail the benefit of various schemes and reservation.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar also said that the government is drawing up a new Act which will include another 12 types of physical disabilities.
“The physically-handicapped certificates issued by the state governments are not recognised by one another. So, the Centre is coming out with a universal ID which will be valid everywhere in the country,” he said at a workshop in New Delhi on prevention of corneal blindness.
“The existing Act recognises only seven types of disabilities, but we are coming out with a new Act which will include another 12 types of physical disabilities,” he said.
Mentioning the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, a campaign for making India ‘disabled-friendly’, the minister said various steps have been taken to make services and facilities accessible to differently-abled persons.
“An outlay of Rs 218 crore has been made for the campaign. We will select 100 government and non-government buildings each in 50 cities which, through ramps, lifts and other facilities, which will be made accessible for persons with disabilities,” he said.
The Centre has decided to ensure complete accessibility for persons with disabilities by 2019 by improving civic facilities and modes of transportation, including the railways and airlines, the minister said. He added, for the first time in the country, a programme has been started to facilitate cochlear implants for children born with hearing and speech impairment.
Gurjar said that covering 15,000 such children every year will involve a cost of around Rs 900 crore even as he called on corporate houses to contribute towards the initiative.
He said, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has organised 1,800 camps, including 150 mega camps, across the country to distribute equipment to persons with disabilities.